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© A Yates online therapy service 2011

Anxiety disorders

Why me?

As people we are all complex and unique individuals, we all have different strengths and weaknesses, that means we will react to events and situations in our own particular way. It has nothing to do with being weakly minded; many people would have been considered to have been strong-minded and focused who go on to develop PTSD. Why one person seems to suffer from long term consequentness from experiencing a traumatic event, when another person does not show any long term issues, is still an unknown. As a therapist, I have been witnessing such remarkable moments in therapy for a number of years, and I know from experience what is possible. Unfortunately, the only way to find out what is achievable for you is to take that first step and discover for yourself, what is possible for you.

Social anxiety disorder

As with most anxiety disorders it can start in childhood but it can also start up later on in life. This type of anxiety disorder is quite common and it does vary in severity from person to person, the disorder is not to be confused with the normal nervousness some people feel when in social gatherings or meeting people for the first time, an anxiety disorder is much more invasive. many people with a social anxiety disorder feel unsettled and self-conscious in social situations, they worry before the situation, when attending it and after, the worrying is can be relentless, and they will avoid any social situation if possible, some with the condition are able to manage the uncomfortable feelings if accompanied by a partner or friend, for others it is a very different story, for them any kind of social activity can feel extremely uncomfortable and anxious, even the thought of attending can lead to extreme levels of anxiety and even feelings of terror or panic, this can lead to isolation and over time eventually depression. A key component of this disorder is low self-esteem or low self-worth, this issue is the real driving force behind the anxiety driven disorder, if the person can tackle this issue in therapy the social disorder will usually melt away on its own. The anxiety disorder can make any stressful situation involving groups of people a grate deal worse, most students sitting an exam in a hall full of other students will be stressed or worried about their results or worried how they will cope, a understandable and mostly normal response, add in a social disorder to the mix and the magnitude of anxiety felt may make it imposable for the person to attend, or they are unable to finish the exam due to the panic attacks they experience.

A few social anxiety symptoms

Experiencing physical anxiety responses such as panic attacks and dry mouth to tight chest and difficulty breathing, shaking, thumping heart rate and other anxiety related symptoms Feelings of dread when having to answer the phone or starting a conversation with a stranger Constantly worrying about social activities and how to avoid them Trepidation of receiving criticism or being judged and any kind of confrontation Feeling very self-conscious and unconformable when being watched or feeling as if your being watched and judged Fear of eating in public or sitting next to people in a café or restaurant Become terrified thinking how others are going perceive them Experiencing physical anxiety responses before or during any kind of social engagement such as panic attacks, and dry mouth to tight chest and difficulty breathing, shaking, thumping heart rate and other anxiety related symptoms

General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

As the name suggests the anxiety felt is has no particular area of focus, unlike a social disorder where it is usually concentrated around people and social functions, general anxiety disorder has no focused area to speak of. The people with this disorder can feel anxious about anything, anywhere, any time, the person with this issue will often experience high levels of anxiety going about daily tasks, that other people with out this problem would think are boring ordinary daily life events, such as shopping, driving, talking to people or answering the phone, but for someone suffering with this anxiety disorder any situation can lead to unwarranted amounts of worrying and ruminations, feelings of continuous panic and trepidation about unlikely possibilities now or in the future, these will be common everyday manifestations of their over-active anxiety. This anxiety disorder like all other anxiety disorders all exhibit some common similarities regarding symptoms and effects on peoples lives. Although anxiety symptoms can be very similar, no matter what the type of anxiety disorder people have, there is often some areas of anxiety symptoms that can be more common with this anxiety disorder than a social disorder or phobia.

A few examples of symptoms

Your usually nervous or worried most of the time for for longer than a few months You worry over everyday tasks and panic when someone is late home You have problems falling asleep because your mind won’t stop worrying about what ifs When asleep you often have bad dreams and unsettled sleep You may commonly feel stiffness in parts of your body, like shoulders and neck You often wake up usually feeling worried or stressed about the day ahead

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder also know as (PTSD) is an anxiety based problem stemming from experiencing trauma, this issue can affect all aspects of a person’s life, their personal, social and work life, can be severely disrupted as they struggle to deal with the intrusive impact of the symptoms of the issue.

Why do people get Post-traumatic stress disorder

This disorder that can be produced by seeing or experiencing very frightening and stressful events such as: Road traffic accidents. Physical attacks. They are experiencing combat situations. Natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis. The after effects of working with aid agencies in war-torn countries. Being involved in or being near explosions. Witnessing people hurt or killed by terror attacks or accidents in real life or on video. Experiencing an extreme situation that leaves you feeling helpless Sexual assault

Understanding symptoms

Psychological trauma can be started by a single event, such as an accident or natural catastrophe, such as an earthquake or tsunami, a violent experience like robbery or rape, or any kind of physical attack, even just the threat of violence can be traumatising and lead to symptoms. Experiencing trauma can lead to a number of problems with anxiety-based issues, in some instances developing into a severe condition called Post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly known as PTSD, a detrimental and sometimes lifelong disorder. PTSD can also develop from experiencing long term unrelenting abuse and stress, such as experiencing frequently intimidating situations. Basically, any long term or short-term situation that is emotionally damaging fearful or threatening can lead to that person suffering from the effects of trauma. One of the major contributors to developing PTSD is when people experience a sense of helplessness in a situation, people do not cope well in situations where they feel helpless, having no control or ability to change or challenge the situation can leave the person exposed to major psychological injury. The symptoms can sometimes start to manifest themselves after a week month or even years after the event has passed. It can be triggered by a smell sound, similar situations or seeing something that links back to the event. All these traumatic events have one thing in common, the enormous emotional impact that is felt can be emotionally devastating to that person. The problems that develop later on is not actual trauma, but the post-traumatic effects of the traumatising incident, this can evolve into people developing further problems. The trauma may have passed, but the experience has gone through a psychological and emotional transformation, developing into a disorder, to be experienced as a panic disorder, phobias and other anxiety motivated responses as well as PTSD. People can experience symptoms, such as insomnia and night terrors, sometimes reliving the actual traumatic event through dreams or flashbacks over and over, leaving them feeling anxious and emotionally and worn out. They can find it hard to concentrate and often feel helpless and stressed, they can exhibit outbursts of anger, and can even react violently to stressful situations, emotionally self-medicating using alcohol or drugs, or distracting themselves with gambling, this can make it much worse and further complicate their lives.

Coping with PTSD

Any trauma is always a past experience that is now manifesting and developing into the present day, and an event or experience in the persons future life may trigger, the onset of PTSD, or it can start to emerge over time, it could be days weeks or months, it can appear gradually or relatively quickly with the emotional effects becoming more apparent as time goes on, some may succeed in pushing or distracting their mind from the emotional distress, they may even have some success in suppressing the event. Sufferers can sometimes start self-medicating, by taking drugs or start drinking more as they try to cope, as best they can with the anxiety and emotions involved. Using alcohol or drugs as a method of coping that will start to create even more problems, the substances they are using to alleviate the problem may in themselves become a growing issue and add to the difficulties they face. Fear responses may be heightened to the point of setting off panic attacks, and feelings of panic can be triggered by sounds and smell or seeing similar events in the media such as an incident on a TV news program, or even while watching a film. Other heightened anxiety responses can appear to impact further the person’s quality of life such as developing a social phobia or any combination of anxiety disorders. People experiencing elevated PTSD reactions, need to understand the dangers of driving or operating equipment where they need to stay aware of their surroundings, to keep themselves and others safe, and in most cases should refrain from such activities until they are feeling better. Helping people with this issue has to be measured, and at a pace that is controlled by you, sound only therapy can have an added benefit by creating a more internalised engagement and an in a safer environment with a more distant interaction that is built on your terms.

Some typical behaviours people exhibit coping with PTSD

Increased consumption of alcohol or drugs Increased risk taking such as gambling or driving to fast An increase or decrease in sexual needs Depression Suicidal thoughts Outbursts of anger and constant angry responses Anxiety and panic attacks Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness Low self-esteem and confidence Loss of focus and poor memory Over or under eating Self-destructive behaviour Isolating themselves from friends and family

Recovering from the effects of trauma

Therapy can be an essential step towards starting or continuing the healing process and may help to uncover the best way forward, which may include tackling the anxiety responses with breathing exercises or meditation or re-framing among many other choices. Remember that starting therapy can be a time full of worry and anxiety, this is normal and to be expected, there are some ways we can help to reduce the anxiety and start the healing process, by carefully talking and exploring the events when you are ready to do so. Recovering from a traumatic experience will take time, you cannot rush the healing process, just being able to talk about your thoughts and anxieties in a respectful and safe therapeutic environment can make a big difference to your recovery time. You will need time to understand how the trauma has affected you, just talking about the experiences may trigger your anxiety, sometimes therapy is a challenging experience but with care and a balanced approach the benefits may be well worth the struggle. People having therapy for PTSD may find that in the actual session or in between therapy sessions, they can start experiencing high levels of anxiety, or start to experience feelings of panic, or notice other ways that the trauma is being expressed emotionally. This can be a difficult time, as long as the therapist is not pushing and expecting too much, being able to verbalise the experiences, can be very helpful and healing. Sometimes just talking about the event can lead to episodes of clarity, it can also lead to important cathartic moments, or eventually finding a level of understanding that helps. The past can be very influential in our present-day life, and its effects are difficult if not impossible to ignore, maybe you can’t change the past, but you can moderate its power. Revisiting past traumatic events is a very delicate and challenging endeavour, but it is possible to go over the incident and dampen its effects or dispel some of the emotional energy, in time lowering the impact from the trauma or reducing the incidence of the PTSD symptoms.
Man with PTSD Thinking Woman thinking about her anxiety PTSD CAN AFFECT ANYONE

Anxiety disorders

Why me?

As people we are all complex and unique individuals, we all have different strengths and weaknesses, that means we will react to events and situations in our own particular way. It has nothing to do with being weakly minded; many people would have been considered to have been strong-minded and focused who go on to develop PTSD. Why one person seems to suffer from long term consequentness from experiencing a traumatic event, when another person does not show any long term issues, is still an unknown. As a therapist, I have been witnessing such remarkable moments in therapy for a number of years, and I know from experience what is possible. Unfortunately, the only way to find out what is achievable for you is to take that first step and discover for yourself, what is possible for you.

Social anxiety disorder

As with most anxiety disorders it can start in childhood but it can also start up later on in life. This type of anxiety disorder is quite common and it does vary in severity from person to person, the disorder is not to be confused with the normal nervousness some people feel when in social gatherings or meeting people for the first time, an anxiety disorder is much more invasive. many people with a social anxiety disorder feel unsettled and self-conscious in social situations, they worry before the situation, when attending it and after, the worrying is can be relentless, and they will avoid any social situation if possible, some with the condition are able to manage the uncomfortable feelings if accompanied by a partner or friend, for others it is a very different story, for them any kind of social activity can feel extremely uncomfortable and anxious, even the thought of attending can lead to extreme levels of anxiety and even feelings of terror or panic, this can lead to isolation and over time eventually depression. A key component of this disorder is low self- esteem or low self-worth, this issue is the real driving force behind the anxiety driven disorder, if the person can tackle this issue in therapy the social disorder will usually melt away on its own. The anxiety disorder can make any stressful situation involving groups of people a grate deal worse, most students sitting an exam in a hall full of other students will be stressed or worried about their results or worried how they will cope, a understandable and mostly normal response, add in a social disorder to the mix and the magnitude of anxiety felt may make it imposable for the person to attend, or they are unable to finish the exam due to the panic attacks they experience.

A few social anxiety

symptoms

Experiencing physical anxiety responses such as panic attacks and dry mouth to tight chest and difficulty breathing, shaking, thumping heart rate and other anxiety related symptoms Feelings of dread when having to answer the phone or starting a conversation with a stranger Constantly worrying about social activities and how to avoid them Trepidation of receiving criticism or being judged and any kind of confrontation Feeling very self-conscious and unconformable when being watched or feeling as if your being watched and judged Fear of eating in public or sitting next to people in a café or restaurant Become terrified thinking how others are going perceive them Experiencing physical anxiety responses before or during any kind of social engagement such as panic attacks, and dry mouth to tight chest and difficulty breathing, shaking, thumping heart rate and other anxiety related symptoms

General Anxiety Disorder

(GAD)

As the name suggests the anxiety felt is has no particular area of focus, unlike a social disorder where it is usually concentrated around people and social functions, general anxiety disorder has no focused area to speak of. The people with this disorder can feel anxious about anything, anywhere, any time, the person with this issue will often experience high levels of anxiety going about daily tasks, that other people with out this problem would think are boring ordinary daily life events, such as shopping, driving, talking to people or answering the phone, but for someone suffering with this anxiety disorder any situation can lead to unwarranted amounts of worrying and ruminations, feelings of continuous panic and trepidation about unlikely possibilities now or in the future, these will be common everyday manifestations of their over-active anxiety. This anxiety disorder like all other anxiety disorders all exhibit some common similarities regarding symptoms and effects on peoples lives. Although anxiety symptoms can be very similar, no matter what the type of anxiety disorder people have, there is often some areas of anxiety symptoms that can be more common with this anxiety disorder than a social disorder or phobia.

A few examples of symptoms

Your usually nervous or worried most of the time for for longer than a few months You worry over everyday tasks and panic when someone is late home You have problems falling asleep because your mind won’t stop worrying about what ifs When asleep you often have bad dreams and unsettled sleep You may commonly feel stiffness in parts of your body, like shoulders and neck You often wake up usually feeling worried or stressed about the day ahead

Post-traumatic stress disorder

(PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder also know as (PTSD) is an anxiety based problem stemming from experiencing trauma, this issue can affect all aspects of a person’s life, their personal, social and work life, can be severely disrupted as they struggle to deal with the intrusive impact of the symptoms of the issue.

Why do people get Post-trau-

matic stress disorder

This disorder that can be produced by seeing or experiencing very frightening and stressful events such as: Road traffic accidents. Physical attacks. They are experiencing combat situations. Natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis. The after effects of working with aid agencies in war-torn countries. Being involved in or being near explosions. Witnessing people hurt or killed by terror attacks or accidents in real life or on video. Experiencing an extreme situation that leaves you feeling helpless Sexual assault

Understanding symptoms

Psychological trauma can be started by a single event, such as an accident or natural catastrophe, such as an earthquake or tsunami, a violent experience like robbery or rape, or any kind of physical attack, even just the threat of violence can be traumatising and lead to symptoms. Experiencing trauma can lead to a number of problems with anxiety-based issues, in some instances developing into a severe condition called Post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly known as PTSD, a detrimental and sometimes lifelong disorder. PTSD can also develop from experiencing long term unrelenting abuse and stress, such as experiencing frequently intimidating situations. Basically, any long term or short- term situation that is emotionally damaging fearful or threatening can lead to that person suffering from the effects of trauma. One of the major contributors to developing PTSD is when people experience a sense of helplessness in a situation, people do not cope well in situations where they feel helpless, having no control or ability to change or challenge the situation can leave the person exposed to major psychological injury. The symptoms can sometimes start to manifest themselves after a week month or even years after the event has passed. It can be triggered by a smell sound, similar situations or seeing something that links back to the event. All these traumatic events have one thing in common, the enormous emotional impact that is felt can be emotionally devastating to that person. The problems that develop later on is not actual trauma, but the post-traumatic effects of the traumatising incident, this can evolve into people developing further problems. The trauma may have passed, but the experience has gone through a psychological and emotional transformation, developing into a disorder, to be experienced as a panic disorder, phobias and other anxiety motivated responses as well as PTSD. People can experience symptoms, such as insomnia and night terrors, sometimes reliving the actual traumatic event through dreams or flashbacks over and over, leaving them feeling anxious and emotionally and worn out. They can find it hard to concentrate and often feel helpless and stressed, they can exhibit outbursts of anger, and can even react violently to stressful situations, emotionally self-medicating using alcohol or drugs, or distracting themselves with gambling, this can make it much worse and further complicate their lives.

Coping with PTSD

Any trauma is always a past experience that is now manifesting and developing into the present day, and an event or experience in the persons future life may trigger, the onset of PTSD, or it can start to emerge over time, it could be days weeks or months, it can appear gradually or relatively quickly with the emotional effects becoming more apparent as time goes on, some may succeed in pushing or distracting their mind from the emotional distress, they may even have some success in suppressing the event. Sufferers can sometimes start self-medicating, by taking drugs or start drinking more as they try to cope, as best they can with the anxiety and emotions involved. Using alcohol or drugs as a method of coping that will start to create even more problems, the substances they are using to alleviate the problem may in themselves become a growing issue and add to the difficulties they face. Fear responses may be heightened to the point of setting off panic attacks, and feelings of panic can be triggered by sounds and smell or seeing similar events in the media such as an incident on a TV news program, or even while watching a film. Other heightened anxiety responses can appear to impact further the person’s quality of life such as developing a social phobia or any combination of anxiety disorders. People experiencing elevated PTSD reactions, need to understand the dangers of driving or operating equipment where they need to stay aware of their surroundings, to keep themselves and others safe, and in most cases should refrain from such activities until they are feeling better. Helping people with this issue has to be measured, and at a pace that is controlled by you, sound only therapy can have an added benefit by creating a more internalised engagement and an in a safer environment with a more distant interaction that is built on your terms.

Some typical behaviours

people exhibit coping with

PTSD

Increased consumption of alcohol or drugs Increased risk taking such as gambling or driving to fast An increase or decrease in sexual needs Depression Suicidal thoughts Outbursts of anger and constant angry responses Anxiety and panic attacks Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness Low self-esteem and confidence Loss of focus and poor memory Over or under eating Self-destructive behaviour Isolating themselves from friends and family

Recovering from the effects of

trauma

Therapy can be an essential step towards starting or continuing the healing process and may help to uncover the best way forward, which may include tackling the anxiety responses with breathing exercises or meditation or re-framing among many other choices. Remember that starting therapy can be a time full of worry and anxiety, this is normal and to be expected, there are some ways we can help to reduce the anxiety and start the healing process, by carefully talking and exploring the events when you are ready to do so. Recovering from a traumatic experience will take time, you cannot rush the healing process, just being able to talk about your thoughts and anxieties in a respectful and safe therapeutic environment can make a big difference to your recovery time. You will need time to understand how the trauma has affected you, just talking about the experiences may trigger your anxiety, sometimes therapy is a challenging experience but with care and a balanced approach the benefits may be well worth the struggle. People having therapy for PTSD may find that in the actual session or in between therapy sessions, they can start experiencing high levels of anxiety, or start to experience feelings of panic, or notice other ways that the trauma is being expressed emotionally. This can be a difficult time, as long as the therapist is not pushing and expecting too much, being able to verbalise the experiences, can be very helpful and healing. Sometimes just talking about the event can lead to episodes of clarity, it can also lead to important cathartic moments, or eventually finding a level of understanding that helps. The past can be very influential in our present-day life, and its effects are difficult if not impossible to ignore, maybe you can’t change the past, but you can moderate its power. Revisiting past traumatic events is a very delicate and challenging endeavour, but it is possible to go over the incident and dampen its effects or dispel some of the emotional energy, in time lowering the impact from the trauma or reducing the incidence of the PTSD symptoms.
Online Therapy Services                                             Changing Lives  Adrian Yates 2011 Online Therapy Services